By Tyler Waldrep, Crimson White:
Times are changing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but coach Nick Saban would like to turn the clock back. “The dynamics of Alabama football has changed a little bit over the last couple of years,” Saban said. “I have been anxious to get back to what we used to do.” Getting back to its roots on defense is something Alabama needs to happen sooner rather than later. If the Crimson Tide is going to have success against Wisconsin this week then the team will likely have to stop the run. Saban said the team has reviewed game tape from Wisconsin and from Pittsburgh where Wisconsin coach, Paul Chryst, coached prior to this season.
By Ken Rogers, Dothan Eagle:
Alabama did not name a starting quarterback Monday – no news there – but the Crimson Tide did release a depth chart and there are a couple of surprises. The biggest one likely is on the Tide’s vaunted defensive line, where true freshman Daron Payne is listed as a co-starter at nose guard with Darren Lake for Saturday night’s season opener against Wisconsin. “He’s been a man-child,” senior linebacker Reggie Ragland said of the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Shades Valley product. “He came in and stepped up. … They’re both doing very good, both Daron and Big Lake. “Those guys are doing what they are supposed to do – striking blockers and keeping guys off us. Those two guys are going to do a great job at the nose.”
By John Talty. al.com:
Dillon Lee has to be versatile. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound linebacker has needed to prepare to play at both outside linebacker and inside linebacker this season, depending on the team Alabama faces. He’s been listed as a starting outside linebacker in Alabama’s base 3-4 defense since spring, but with the way offenses have changed in the SEC, the Tide isn’t in its base all that often. Alabama utilizes its nickel and dime packages more frequently when dealing with the hurry-up spread offenses that have become so popular in the conference. Against a run-heavy team like No. 20 Wisconsin, Lee should see a lot of playing time as Alabama can stay in its base defense more often than usual.
By Duane Rankin, Montgomery Advertiser:
Reggie Ragland is having fun with the top topic of discussion at Alabama. “I’ll play quarterback if they need me to,” said the senior linebacker with a big smile. That won’t be necessary. The Crimson Tide have enough guys vying for that spot. More than enough. “We’re good,” Ragland said. “We’ve got about eight, five or six of them.” All jokes aside, No. 3-ranked Alabama isn’t leaving anything to chance on its quarterback situation. Or better yet, the Tide aren’t revealing anything as to who will start in Saturday’s season opener against No. 20 Wisconsin at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. On its depth chart dated 8-31-15, Alabama lists all five quarterbacks in the following manner: Jacob Coker/Cooper Bateman/Alec Morris/Blake Barnett/David Cornwell.
By Charlie Potter, 247sports.com:
Alabama released its first depth chart Monday, and there were three players at the top of the quarterback position. Jacob Coker, Cooper Bateman and Alec Morris were slated as the three starters with five days until the season opener against Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas. Freshman Blake Barnett and David Cornwell were listed as the backups. And head coach Nick Saban said he has liked what he’s seen from the top-three quarterbacks on the practice field.
By Chris Hale, Bama Hammer:
After slowing dragging through the dog days of summer, it’s finally here. We can all look at the calendar and say without any doubt that it’s officially game week. Be ready Dallas Metro. There will be tons of Alabama fans coming your way to make moves on the women, probably drink some, and finish out the trip watching the Tide take down Wisconsin.
By Ken Rogers, Dothan Eagle:
With game week finally here, Alabama is expected to rely on its defense, particularly in the early moments of the season, while an offense with just three returning starters establishes its identity. The defense looks more settled, with seven starters returning. It should also be more versatile with a very deep front that likely will see nine or 10 players in the rotation. “We’ve got quite a few guys coming back,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said as he discussed his defensive line, likely the strongest and certainly the deepest unit on the entire team. “I think we have a good mix in terms of the diversity of types of players that we have – some guys are athletic and rush, while some guys are big and physical and can play inside.”
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
It’s a question people have asked since National Signing Day. Which Alabama freshman will contribute Day 1? A look at the opening week depth chart reveals seven true freshmen on the two-deep entering the 7 p.m. Saturday game with Wisconsin. Three were at least co-first teamers. But for Monday’s beat writer video, we could each pick just one. Take a look at the video above as I’m joined by fellow AL.com beat reporter John Talty to discuss our picks. Any number of the fresh faces could have qualified for a mention, but these two are safe bets.
By Alex Byington, Montgomery Advertiser:
Reggie Ragland came to Tuscaloosa like many other high-profile recruits and scoffed a bit at “The Process.” Known for his no-nonsense approach to coaching and developing players at Alabama, head coach Nick Saban has preached his philosophy — otherwise known as “the Process” — as a way to get his team playing at its peak potential. Some players can’t handle Saban’s way and are “processed” out of Alabama. But there are many others, such as Ragland, who ultimately embrace “The Process” and utilize it as a way of improving themselves to the point that they eventually earn their shot at playing for the Tide.